SPOILER FREE FILM REVIEW: Suicide Squad
Despite the negative reviews out there, I can assure you that the latest DC blockbuster is not a failure for the brand, in fact it’s an absolute winner in my opinion.
The overall outlook for DC at the moment inspires plenty of hope. The DCEU has bags of potential, which is limitless, with plenty of heavy hitters on its roster like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the entire Justice League, which stole Comic-Con this year. The sheer fire and star power makes this an exciting time for DC’s future. On the other hand, their films were not as critically acclaimed as many thought they would be and before the release of Suicide Squad it appears they rushed into building a cinematic universe without having an actual plan. But Suicide Squad is a net positive for them without a shadow of a doubt.
Unsurprisingly, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller steal the movie and delivered plenty of memorable moments, which are not only humorous, but action-packed. Going into the film, everyone expected Robbie to shine as Quinn and she exceeds those expectations. She perfectly captured the essence of the demonically twisted Quinn, drawing in fans with a wickedly deranged romance with the Joker (Jared Leto).
Just as many expected Margot Robbie’s performance is one of the top standouts as Harley Quinn, there was a little doubt amongst fans about whether or not Will Smith was the right choice in the role of Deadshot. Rest assured: Smith came through when DC needed him most by bringing some real personality, gravitas and, most importantly, well-timed humour to the role.
Perhaps most surprising though is Viola Davis, she basically serves in the Nick Fury role for DC, but with an attitude and the power to shoot people at will. The personality that Davis brings to the film is a stellar contrast to Smith and Robbie, a necessary dose of seriousness that as a bonus comes with a real “do not mess with me” vibe.
Another highly anticipated aspect of the film was Jared Leto’s performance of the Joker. Leto’s incarnation of the Joker is very unlike the late great Heath Ledger’s portrayal. But to me that’s a positive and it’s not his crazed elegance, style or even his awesome slow-mo cackle that wins it for me. What makes me think Leto’s performance is amazing and something unlike anything that we’ve seen before is seeing a Joker in love. It’s unsettling and compelling all at the same time. Jared Leto does an outstanding job but he was never going to outdo Heath Ledger, not because of a poor performance but mainly through the fact that he only has roughly 10 minutes of screen time.
The film is not without its faults, however and it is in fact the lack of Joker screen time that is one of the film’s downsides. The character is so iconic and it was mistake to have him only appear in a handful of scenes. At least three more scenes would have been perfect without the chance of becoming overkill. The action scenes, even though well choreographed and exciting, some tend to be edited far too fast that I’m certain some of the audience will get motion sickness. The story of the film could have been improved in my opinion, which, while good, could have been improved with a better overall villain. Because of this reason there was never any doubt as to how the film would play out.
Despite some of those hiccups though, Suicide Squad is exactly what DC has been craving right now. The film is not only enjoyable and will be a commercial success, but it’s proof they’re going off the established Marvel formula. We as an audience need comic book movies that are not aimed primarily for kids and are quote en quote family friendly: kick-ass action scenes plus witty jokes and plenty of teases for future projects. Suicide Squad does that in bunches, with plenty of Easter eggs to keep fanboys happy and enough intense action scenes to satisfy the casual fans at the same time. Fans get to see (however brief the scenes are) Batman square up against the Joker and Deadshot and the little ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ nods to previous stories/locations/characters in the DC universe.
The movie serves as an opportunity to, not only build on the DCEU universe outside of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League, but to actually introduce new and exciting characters who some parts of the audience might not recognise straight away. This could be a chance for DC to expand the brand with newer, less mainstream characters in the future, which has been a big criticism of Marvel in recent years. Plus the DCEU have something Marvel does not have and that’s a solo female superhero movie due to be released next year. This has been a major criticism from most fans in regards to Marvel and their releases to date. With the Suicide Squad, title characters like Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and the crew have a real chance to be further developed in the future, and based on how the film plays out, it appears that they will be very prominent going forward.
These are exciting times if you’re a DC fan. Coupled with the introduction of Suicide Squad are the recent debuts of the trailers for Justice League and Wonder Woman, both of which stirred up Comic-Con into a frenzy. No longer are they a pretender—they officially have a seat at the table. Will they be able to close the huge gap between them and Marvel? Only the next couple of years will tell, but Suicide Squad is a definite step in the right direction.
This film is fun, exciting and surely to bring a smile to your face and that is just what the fans have been craving from DC and it delivers in buckets. Is it a perfect film? Maybe not and it’s not without some flaws but it is exactly what the doctor ordered. If you don’t watch this film you’ll be crazy enough to be guaranteed a nice cosy cell in Arkham Asylum.
Suicide Squad is out now!!!